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Archive for the ‘Self Love’ Category

If Not Now, When?

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For a long time now the title of this post had a certain meaning to me.  Don’t hesitate.  Seize the moment.  Take action on what you have been secretly yearning for so long now.  Life is very short and if not lived in the moment it seems even shorter.  What do I really want to do with the time left to me?

All of this still holds true,  but recently I have discovered that is just the surface of what happens when you pose this question to yourself and action is taken.  Perhaps this question arises from a place deep inside when a pattern that has run your life is asking to be dissolved.  Perhaps it is time to free yourself.

Imagine a young girl of 14 who has just lost her mother very suddenly.  Her father is devastated by her death and goes into a place of depression leaving this young girl to take care of her brother who is 4 years younger, the household, and continue to do the dance of Junior High School, all without any grief counseling or emotional support.  Consider what pattern this must have created.

Each of us has a story, a set of life circumstances that laid down a pattern(s) from which we have lived our lives in order to survive, belong and feel loved and seen.  Many of us have deeply buried the sense of wholeness of who we are, and instead have lived life through the filter of this pattern.  Then we are presented with “If not now, when?

In my case, and yes I was that young girl of 14, I learned to make others needs a priority making certain everyone was taken care of before my own needs so that I might feel  love, appreciation, importance, and a sense of safety in my world.  Over and over I played the part of selfless martyr to my patterns demand – until I woke up.

tumblr_lzgrgwYrO01qa8xm1o1_500Life usually hands us circumstances in which we can pick apart our patterns a bit at a time.  Then perhaps comes a more expansive awakening when all the threads that have held it together can no longer stay entangled.  An awakening where we cannot blame outside circumstances or others for the traumatic or toxic places/relationships we have placed ourselves in, or give excuses for not being all that we were meant to be – but instead take responsibility for freeing ourselves from the patterns that have run our lives.

It is not comfortable to be so honest with yourself and  bring the pattern out of the dark closet so that it can be seen – but it is indeed our job to simply do the work sacredly and silently into our own new awareness.  Our life then has the potential to change and open to allow a connection to the wholeness of who we are….and those with “eyes to see and ears to hear” will respond.

No dragging kicking and screaming necessary…..

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You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

How does the title of this blog post make you feel?  What are the feelings that arise when you consider your own beauty?

As women we are so often self critical about many things in our appearance.  If it isn’t the media or our culture that is demanding we look a certain way in order to be loved, get the job, get the man, or even get the attention….it is our own inability to accept the features and bodies that we have been given.

Beauty is considered in so many different ways by people all over the world.  But isn’t real beauty that which shines through the features? The features that are a pathway to all of the experiences that have made up this one precious life!  The soul of who we are!380354_10150709043892185_280837062184_8265230_1562739305_n

It is the deepest parts of our being that shine forth if we but allow the open and whole expression of who we really are.  Accepting the natural beauty that resides within and reflects on the outside – even the wrinkles, lines and flaws – encourages us as women to express fully without holding back anything!

Can we really be open to how others see us and realize that we are much more beautiful than we think?  Watch this short video and reflect.  Perhaps it will lead you to come out of hiding…

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Celebrating Natural Beauty

This last Friday I was privileged to watch “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.   There are many reasons why I found this film delightful, but one of them was that these older actors and actresses were not changed to look younger than their years.  Instead there were lines on faces and bodies that showed age and a life lived.  Each person was a character study in where life had taken them up until the moment that they all found themselves together at the Magnolia Hotel….and by the end of the movie each person had come full circle into acceptance of who they were whether it was by death or by taking a good hard in the face look at life and what they wanted now.

The video below shows Cheryl -Ann Webster and what she is doing to open women and men’s minds to the acceptance of themselves just as they are.  Her Beautiful Women project focuses on what is natural and beautiful in this world versus a socially created image which is unattainable for most people.  She has found that 80% of women, when asked, would change several things about their bodies and appearance if they could and 50% of men.  Are you one of those 80%.  I know that I have been. Cheryl-Ann reminds us that body image is NOT black and white.

Aging, if done gracefully, brings us the wisdom to accept the changes that are inevitable.  It is almost a relief not to feel compelled to mold ourselves into a socially acceptable rendition of what society feels we should look and be like.  The characters in the Marigold Hotel movie are simply being themselves and at times struggling with the fact that they have aged.  Yet in the end, there is a celebration of the natural beauty and wisdom that has been seasoned over the years, and a deeper self acceptance and knowing.

When is it time to accept our bodies and our own natural beauty?  How about now….

WEBSITEwww.ResonanceWithLife.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

We Are The Sum Of The Choices We Make

Never give up, never give up, never give up sings Gypsy Soul singer Cilette Swann.  We are truly the sum of the choices we make in life.  The song you will listen to below invites us to wake up from our slumber and ask these questions:

Do I give enough?

Do I love enough?

Do I trust enough?

Do I risk enough?

Did I ever give up on anyone?

Questions to not only ask ourselves frequently, but vibrantly, passionately,  and mindfully live in order to be able to say YES! to all but the last question!!

Addendum: “Did I allow myself to receive enough” for all of you women out there that have given until you had nothing left to live your life with….

WEBSITE www.ResonanceWithLife.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net

www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

Finding-Voice

There was a circle of women sitting together having come to join each other in sharing what it was to walk a sacred, creatively authentic path as a woman in this world.  The small island on which this retreat was located held us within the energy of her natural beauty.  There was a leader of this group who stood before us in her power and with her unique voice.  She vibrated with confidence and a wisdom that was palatable to everyone in the room.

The present assignment was simple, or so it seemed.  Each woman was asked to share what brought her, and whether she had any expectations of the week that we would share together.  I immediately felt the fear of being transparent within this circle of women.  It was a full body charge running from the top of my head all the way to my toes….and it wasn’t particularly comfortable.   I felt like a deer in the headlights as my turn quickly approached.

As each woman shared eloquently (or so I judged) her journey to get here, and what she hoped to uncover for herself, I felt like I was the lone ranger with all of this fear of not being able to speak within the circle.  As long as I was the facilitator or leader of a group I seemed to be quite fine thank you very much, but when put in the position of being a participant where I felt not in control of what would come out of my mouth – well it was pure terror!

Most of my life had been spent in a man’s world, literally!  Motherless since 14 with 4 brothers, a father to take care of me, 2 husbands and another long term partner, 3 sons and many years in the conventional medical world, I wasn’t really certain of how to be in the company of women let alone bring my authentic powerful voice to the forefront.  I had been too busy anticipating the needs of men and everyone else around me to trust what my own voice had to say.

Well here was my chance, in this circle of women bound together out of a desire to mine the depths of our individual and collective hearts, souls, and minds – and dance together with our bodies in uninhibited movement.

It was then my turn in the circle to share, and do you know what I did?  I passed!  Oh, yes a lesson learned a 1,000 times over that when you pass on bringing your voice, no matter what the circumstances, you not only miss out on finding out more about yourself,  but you also hold back your unique thoughts, feelings, and ideas that could empower or break open the woman sitting next to you, the woman across the circle from you, or the woman on the other side of the world!

Yes, I finally did dismantle the fear that was keeping me silent, and shared a couple of days later in my own timing. That seemed to part of my lesson as well these many years ago now.  Honoring when I was ready to bring my voice by loving myself in the moment of absolute terror, and then committing within myself to bring my voice before the week was out.  It was what happened between the terror and the bringing that was truly the heart of the healing for me.  I let go of being perfect and committed to bring the whole of me – no matter what.

The “no matter what” was important for me in this safe circle of women, for so like many women we seem to hold a deep cellular memory of having been somehow “punished” for bringing our voice, our talents, and our opinions to the table of the world at large.  I say, let’s create another cellular memory for the girls that follow behind us and for the women of today and yesterday.

What does happen between finding our voice and bringing it out into the world in all of our relationships and endeavors??

There is a video below that is powerfully short and to the point.  Chills swept my body as I realized that although I have brought my voice out into the community, in relationship, and out into the world I have reached a point in age when there is not as much time to bring that unique voice of mine as there was when I was 20, 30, 40 or even 50.

What is it that will encourage, support, and sometimes give us a little lovin push or shove, as the case may be, to find and bring our voice?  I say – each other!

We need all of us to break any silence we have kept for reasons only we know deep in our hearts…tell your story and impact the world, reclaim your voice when you have lost it, be fearless, listen to your inner voice and act accordingly, let go of being perfect, talk about what is important to you with other women and ask for help when needed, live your life in integrity and on your own terms, let go of trying to be everything to everybody….Be completely, transparently, and powerfully YOU!

 

 

 

 

P.S.  Couldn’t help but include this little video as a post script.  Just watched it and still have a smile on my face.  Talk about finding your voice.  It comes in many ways of expression!!  Enjoy!

 

 

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
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Celebrating Our Natural Beauty

More than 5 years ago now I attended a Global Healing conference in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.  The keynote speaker was Desmond Tutu (who made himself very available to us!) and there were 800 people attending from all over the world.  It was an incredibly powerful experience that transported me into a global citizen and expanded my awareness about life and my own contributions to the world.

After the conference I had created an additional 10 days to just be on my own and explore the amazing country and people of Bali.  There were many things about this culture and these people that captivated my heart and soul.  One of them was the natural beauty of the people, the country, and the way of life…and I am not talking external beauty only here.  There was an essence that was felt, a light reflection of what is real substance within each living thing….. A sacredness of whole being if you will.

It was here that I was able to find and celebrate my natural beauty,  throw away my self consciousness around how I looked on the outside, and luxuriate in all that is beautiful.  It was here that I fell in love with myself and had it reflected back to me over and over again…and yes, I did find myself in a tub with flower petals floating in the water just as in the picture above!

As I stepped into this new found natural being of beauty others were attracted and I found love shining back at me from every possible source.  The Balinese people know when a person is being authentic, and as I let go of inner constraint I was welcomed into families and villages, held Balinese children, sat with heads of villages to talk about meditation and the finer points of drinking milk straight from the coconut (oh, did I make a mess of things much to their enjoyment!), had intimate dinners with embraces and kisses in the moonlight by a lotus pond with an Australian participant of the conference, and was even invited onto the backs of motor scooters by locals to tour the island.

I found that natural beauty is something each and every one of us as women hold within, and that when we open to the giving and receiving of love with full and authentic expression and acceptance there is a radiance in our being that draws others in.

Below are 2 resources that I feel you will enjoy and appreciate.  Pass this on to women you know and let’s collaborate with each other to accept, express, and celebrate our natural beauty and full potential!

The NEW Beauty
“She said, “Jules, If I didn’t know you, I would hate you.”   This message was delivered to me, 24 years ago, at a critical and tender time in my life.  It reverberated endlessly, from my fragile ego, to the depths of my soul, and back around my hear…t.  This was a painful and difficult message for an approval-seeking young adult, who worked tirelessly to move beyond the “ugly and imperfect” obstacles from childhood adversities.  I replied, “Seriously?  You would HATE me?”   “Yes.  You are beautiful and successful.  You’re perfect!  You have it all.  If I didn’t know you, I would hate you!,” she repeated.  

Sadly, she really did not know me and all my insecurities.  Her words pierced my people-pleasing persona and shattered everything I believed to be true.  Beauty and success epitomized the cultural contract we were “supposed” to fulfill as super-women.  But nobody told me about the part that if, or when, you fulfill the contract, people would hate you. 

This was a bewildering, sick game: be beautiful, successful and hated, or imperfect, ordinary and never measure up.  The pathetic irony in the entire paradigm was I NEVER felt beautiful or successful to begin with and most of us NEVER did.  

In spite of the invasive and prominent media-defined images of beauty, women are waking up.  No longer will we sit by and watch our daughters be put in powerless, anorexic, heroin chic boxes, destined for plastic surgery.  Traditional notions of beauty are being shattered.  Women no longer want to have our appearance prescribed, nor do we believe it defines who we are.  We will not wear a mask that hides our identity and buy the right labels to make us feel worthy and complete. 

We are re-defining beauty and wearing it proudly as it emanates deep from within our true knowing.  As we discover the radiant light of elegance and grace that flows from our core, authentic self-expression is the new glamour.  We are birthing a fresh allure.  Our NEW beauty is raw, organic and deep.  It isn’t something that pleases the eye, but rather an essence that stirs and quickens the soul.  Have you re-defined beauty and embraced your mystique?  

Macduff Everton said, “There is a difference between pretty and beautiful.  Beauty can astonish us. Inspire us.  Make us dance.  Make us weep.  Beauty can be magical.  Beauty can transform us.  Beauty lets our soul sing.  Beauty can have such depth that you don’t even notice at first, or ever.”  Live your beauty!  Let it shine.  BE YOU, beautiful, and help usher in the NEW beauty. ”  Dr. Julie

See More
By: Dr. Julie on Your Beautiful Mindful Life

Take a look at the Beautiful Woman Project by Cheryl-Ann Webster

http://www.cawebster.com/art/bwp/

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

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www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

The Gift of Acceptance

Sorenna Elizabeth

I have just come back from visiting two of my sons,  and playing joyously and full on with my 3 year old granddaughter Sorenna.  As she grows quickly I see the amazing girl she is, and forsee the powerful woman she will become.

I watch Sorenna and see how absolutely at home she is in her body, her mind, and her playful and creative spirit.  She is not afraid to be exactly who she is – in the moment.  She operates from a place of full self  acceptance.  I yearn to be like her….

I often wonder why women – including myself at times – are frequently so hard on ourselves.  By that I mean attempting to fit into a “square hole” of our cultures making with our rounded, and curvy bodies (even if you are thin you have curves!!),  hearts, and psyches.

This week I was blessed to view two videos – both of which are here for you – that speak to acceptance in all of its many forms.  Here are two stunning women bringing themselves out to millions of people.  They are stunning because they both have a track record of saying yes to putting themselves out their within their particular creative art form, and they keep showing up to do just that.

One is a musician who has written many powerful songs for women as she speaks of her own life experience through her music, and the other is a young woman that very early on found her love of poetry and theater arts could be put together – and oh what a perfect fit for her!

The first is India Arie singing Gift of Acceptance at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert with a global message for all of us.  We are in a time on our planet when we are realizing more deeply that what affects one of us affects all of us.  I say that acceptance of ourselves at deep levels of loving care allow us to accept others as we do ourselves.  Just what the world needs!

The second video is a brilliant TED2011 talk by Sarah Kay that inspired two standing ovations.   “Sarah tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. — and gives two breathtaking performances of “B” and “Hiroshima.”

To me this is not only especially inspiring for our girls and young women coming up….but also a reminder to us as mature women that with acceptance of all of who we are (warts, fears, wrinkles, sexual preferences, and all!), the best of our creative gifts are unearthed. It is within our uniqueness that our genius shines!

You will find it here:

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if_i_should_have_a_daughter.html

Will you be the next to step up “on stage”?  Dare ya!

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

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